Open University improves staff mental health support

Universities UK’s Stepchange Framework looks at student mental health and wellbeing through four ‘domains’ of Learn, Support, Work and Live. Good mental health is
central to an engaged, productive and creative work environment, as the following example shows.

The Open University in Scotland is taking a whole institution approach to mental health and wellbeing, working collectively to promote an informed, tolerant and inclusive culture.

The institution promotes good mental health and wellbeing for all staff and is dedicated to providing training and support to those in need, irrespective of where they are based. This is important, given the Open University in Scotland’s wide geographical spread of both staff and students.

Facilitating good mental health is recognised as a strategic priority in the wider Open University’s Student and Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.  To create a positive working environment that promotes active staff engagement, the University offers a free and confidential Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for all staff that offers counselling, including around any protected characteristics. Also, senior management undertake appropriate training to ensure the provision of mental health support and reasonable adjustments for any staff experiencing mental health issues.

Together, the Open University in Scotland’s approach to mental health is underpinned by effective and timely support systems, as well as training about mental health and wellbeing that allows students and staff to maximise their potential and achieve success.